A recent request by the White House for $32.5 billion in emergency funding to counter COVID-19 and support Ukraine in its war against Russia also would allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to a host of separate cybersecurity efforts throughout the government.

Shalanda D. Young, acting director for the Office of Management and Budget, sent a letter on Mar. 2, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking that Congress quickly approve the request to provide $10 billion in immediate emergency aid for Ukraine, and $22.5 billion for Covid treatments, testing, and vaccination.

Within those totals are several lines of agency funding for cybersecurity:

  • Regarding cyber aid for Ukraine, the emergency request would allot $30 million to the Energy Department to help shore up Ukraine’s electric grid to “leverage the expertise in the National Laboratory system to aid in modeling and analytics, cybersecurity, synchronization, and other assistance,” the letter states.
  • Additionally, the emergency request would also give $1.25 billion to the Department of Defense to support “operational surges across multiple national defense components, including accelerated cyber capabilities, weapons systems upgrades, increased intelligence support, and classified programs,” the letter states.
  • Specifically, the funding request would dedicate $214 million to the Air Force for cybersecurity and weapon systems upgrades. It would also provide about $144 million to the Pentagon, Air Force, and Navy for artificial intelligence-algorithm development, cybersecurity, and other information technology needs.
  • Another $40.2 million would go towards bolstering cyber, counterintelligence, and cryptocurrency tools at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). And $28 million would be allocated to boost the FBI’s investigative and operational response to cyber threats that have stemmed from the Russian-Ukrainian war.
  • The emergency request would allocate $10.8 million to various divisions at the Department of Justice to aid ongoing task force efforts to arrest sanctions evaders and cyber-criminals.
  • Finally, the Treasury Department would receive $17 million to pay for cybersecurity enhancements to protect the agency’s systems from targeted attacks.

“Across these areas, this funding request assumes that the Congress would also act promptly to provide agencies with full-year appropriations. The absence of full-year appropriations would continue to constrain…resources, readiness, and operations around the globe,” Young said in the letter to Speaker Pelosi. “The impact on readiness and operations would constrain priority efforts in Europe and also leave the U.S. more vulnerable to other potential adversaries exploiting the global situation,” Young said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.